Laptop overheating is a common problem that can cause serious damage to your device as well as data. Laptops overheat because the hardware components are placed close to each other, providing very little room for air movements.
Some laptops come with built-in cooling components that prevent overheating and provide seamless user experience, but others do not. Listed below are some common signs of laptop overheating.
- The fan is making constant noises
- The laptop is working slowly and is unable to perform basic tasks
- Lines appear on your laptop screen
- The base of your laptop feels hot
- Lines start appearing on the laptop screen
Laptop overheating problems require immediate action. It is best to put your laptop to rest for a while and wait until the temperature is normalized. You should also avoid putting the laptop in your lap since it can block the fan and make the internal parts like motherboard hot.
What Causes Overheating?
Your laptop can overheat due to several reasons. The most common reason is a defective battery. A defective battery can be the reason your laptop’s charging doesn’t last long, and your laptop is overheating, and it also may damage your laptop keyboard.
Other potential reasons include:
- Clogged up fan
- Dust blocking intake grills and exhaust ports
- Thermal grease between the heatsink and CPU
These common issues can be fixed at your home in some easy and quick steps. Listed below are some easy and cost-effective ways to help you solve this issue in no time.
Step by step guide to fix laptop overheating issues
- Find the heat source
- Remove the hardened thermal grease As thermal grease
- Apply new thermal grease
- Lighten the load
- Protective external measures
Before starting to fix your laptop’s heat issues, it is important to make a backup of all your important files and items. You should always have a backup whenever you are trying to fix your laptop or PC, in case something goes wrong.
Make a backup on an external device such as a USB.
After you have to make a secure backup, place your laptop somewhere dry. It is better to keep a cloth with you because you don’t want to damage the screen while working on the base. Keep all the external devices like external keyboards and magnets away when you open your laptop to avoid unfortunate situations.
Find the heat source
A laptop expels hot air through the air vents, like a PC. These are very small and are usually located on the bottom. There can be multiple vents as well. When your laptop is running, you can check the vents to see if the laptop is expelling any hot air. If not, it is because of the dust accumulated in the vents and fans.
Cleaning the dust is very simple. If the fan of your laptop is easily accessible and can be removed, it is best to remove it and then clean it. Once you’ve taken the fan out, don’t forget to clean the area your fan sits. You can blow out the dust from the fan itself, and before placing it back in its chamber, you can put a drop of contact cleaner or mineral oil. Using contact cleaner makes it better since it leaves no residue and evaporates quickly.
However, if you think the fan of your laptop is no longer able to spin fast because of the dust or debris, you can always get a new one from the market or online. You can search for a new laptop fan online by simply typing your laptop’s model number. You can also find information about this in your laptop’s user manual.
The simplest way of identifying the cooling unit if your laptop is to look for the fan. You can locate it once you know where the fan sits. After you’ve found the cooling unit, remove it carefully by twisting back and forth. This would help break any hardened thermal grease. Try not to pull it fast, since the power cable is attached to the motherboard and pulling it aggressively might break it.
The easiest way to blow out the dust from the fan is by using your breath, hairdryer, or compared air. You can use a brush and an earbud as well. Clean the wings of the fan using an earbud, and before placing the fan back, dust it with a brush all over to clean any remaining dust particles.
Remove the hardened thermal grease As thermal grease
gets old, it gets harder, which is why it would not be possible to remove it using fingers. It is best to have a plastic knife or a wooden ice cream stick to scrape it all out. The thermal grade can be on CPU, heat exchanger, and GPU.
Removing the thermal grease would take time. You can make the area moist by applying isopropyl alcohol on an earbud and then try removing the grease.
Apply New Thermal Grease
Once you have removed the old hardened thermal grease and cleaned the area properly, now is the time to apply new thermal grease. Apply a pea-sized amount on the CPU and GPU. You can use the wooden stick to spread it evenly. Don’t apply too much thermal grease as it can cause heat build-up.
It would help if you also dusted under the RAM and processor to get rid of dust and debris there. You can find the instructions to clean everything properly on the laptop user manual as well.
Lighten the load
After you’ve dusted and cleaned the dirty laptop external components, it is better to lighten up the load internally as well. You can use the windows task manager to see what program is using the CPU more than the others. You can install Process Explorer for this purpose and can get rid of the junk files you don’t need or use.
It is better to keep track of your files and programs and regularly declutter the ones you don’t use anymore. It would not just save you a lot of space but also would positively affect your heat issues and battery timings.
Protective external measures
Apart from fixing the internal and dust issues of the laptop, you can also use some gadgets and techniques to avoid these overheating issues. Listed below are some tools and techniques you can use.
Placing and using your laptop on your lap can block the fan, which, as a result, makes the laptop heated. You can use a lap desk to provide proper ventilation and enhance the airflow mechanism of your laptop. A lap desk helps you in maintaining a constant airflow.
The cooling pad is a short term solution to a long term problem, but it definitely can help improve external and internal speed as well as performance. A cooling pad can be useful for the people who like using a laptop on a bed, lap, or pillow. The angle and height of the cooling pad can be adjusted, which can reduce neck and back pain as well.
Laptop overheating can be due to a lot of reasons, which is why it is important to take care of where and how you use your laptop. If the overheating issues of your laptop do not solve even after trying all the methods mentioned above, it is advisable to get it repaired from a professional as soon as you can. If you want to purchase the new machine which does not have any heat up issues, I found the best gaming laptops under $1000, go and check out if you are serious about your gaming machine.